By Josh Kramer
Is it me or has the MLB been turned upside down? Derek Jeter is batting over 400 at age 37. Albert Pujols has one home run (he finally hit one on Sunday). And Ryan Dempster leads the National League in ERA (all of these stats were heading into play yesterday). How about the current standings though?
-Philadelphia “We are the cream of the crop in the NL East” Phillies
-Chicago “We have fun at Wrigleyville” Cubs
-San Diego “This is not a shocker” Padres
-Boston “We are always a contender” Red Sox
-Minnesota “Ron Gardenhire is a savior” Twins
-Los Angeles “World Series Favorite” Angels
-Washington “Never gone over 500” Nationals
-St. Louis “Albert Pujols-less” Cardinals
-Los Angeles “Divorced” Dodgers
-Baltimore “We play in the same division as New York and Boston” Orioles
-Cleveland “We are more famous for a movie” Indians
-Texas “Going for a three-peat” Rangers
In terms of the “Cellar Dwellers,” the Cubs and the Padres come as no surprise. But most had the Phillies, Angels, and Red Sox penciled in to go to the playoffs. Minnesota was supposed to be more of a middle-tier type of team. As for the “Divisional Leaders,” outside of the Rangers, they are all shockers. The Dodgers have dealt with a ton of “Family Feud” type of issues. Baltimore has not made the playoffs since 1997. The Cardinals lost their legendary first baseman and legendary manager. And the Indians have become more well-known for the movie “Major League” than they are for their actual on field performance (at least in recent memory).
Now we are only a month into the season. I fully expect a couple of the current “Cellar Dwellers” to find a way into postseason baseball. But I have no explanation for what has gone on during the first 25 to 30 games. I am not going to act like this is not good for baseball though. People love the parity of the NFL and the unpredictability of College Basketball’s March Madness. Even if this very unexpected start does not continue through October, which it won’t, more people are excited about baseball than is typical at the beginning of May.
Do you believe in miracles?
There is no Mike Eruzione this time around. But the Los Angeles Kings have taken over the hockey world in becoming the first eight seed in NHL history to defeat the top two teams in their conference. The craziest thing is they didn’t just beat the Canucks and the Blues, they dismantled them. Anze Kopitar and Co. are truly demonstrating why the regular season and postseason are two completely different beasts. Can anyone take down the mighty Kings?
Is Goodell doing good?
All four Saints players suspended in the bounty scandal are appealing their recently administered suspensions. Will the appeals go through? Probably not. Roger Goodell has taken a strong stance in regards to player safety and hefty suspensions since taking over as NFL Commissioner. Goodell has done a good job since taking over as the Commish. Or at least he is held in a much higher regard than Bud Selig and David Stern. Goodell may not be a direct reason why the NFL is currently reaching its highest popularity levels, but he definitely has not hurt the cause.
What could have been
The three top home run hitters in the American League and three of the top four RBI leaders heading into play last night all have one thing in common. They are all former Cincinnati Reds. Josh Hamilton, Edwin Encarnacion , and Adam Dunn are all lighting up the scoreboards for their respective teams on a nightly basis. The Cincinnati Reds are currently ranked 11th in the National League in terms of total offense and are off to a very mediocre start. Think Cincinnati would like to rewind the clock? Or at least change the decision that they made on December 21, 2007?
Just some “Food for Thought.”
Let me hear your thoughts though. Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.